Skydio Dips From the Consumer Drone Market


California-based drone maker Skydio has announced that it will “sunset” its consumer drone offerings.

As DPReview reports, Skydio is shifting its focus toward its enterprise and public sector products.

“Four years after its launch, Skydio 2’s follow-and-film capability and autonomous cinematography features like KeyFrame are still in a class all on their own. Watching our consumer customers use our drones to capture photos and videos that would be impossible to achieve any other way while they bike, climb, run, drive, and ski in some of the most beautiful parts of the world has been one the greatest joys of our work,” writes Skydio’s CEO Adam Bry.

Bry continues, adding that while “Skydio 2 has been an incredible success” concerning its ability to enable novel content creation, Skydio’s drones are “also having a transformative impact for over 1,500 enterprise and public sector customers,” including for inspections, finding children, and protecting “troops around the world.”

Skydio’s CEO points out that the company’s drones serve the “core industries that our civilization runs on,” including public safety, transportation, energy, construction, and defense.

“Built for business. Ready for duty,” Skydio says of its X2 drone.

Skydio has decided that enterprise and public sector customers require the company’s full and undivided attention.

The result of this decision is that the Skydio 2+ Starter, Sports, Cinema, and Pro kits will no longer be sold. Skydio will provide software and customer support for its existing customers, and the company says it will honor its warranty terms and still offer drone repairs to consumers. The company will also maintain its accessories inventory for as long as it can.

“We will be forever grateful to every consumer who has purchased a Skydio drone. We hope you have enjoyed the product as much as we enjoyed building it and supporting you,” Bry concludes.

In its Frequently Asked Questions section, Skydio explains that it will still produce the Skydio 2+ drone, but it will only be available in its Enterprise Kit variant.

DPReview notes that Skydio customer Ken Dono, known as OriginaldoBo on YouTube, expresses significant disappointment over Skydio’s decision. Dono says that Skydio rose to fame because of its consumer-level customers rather than its enterprise customers.

While the Skydio 2 and 2+ may not deliver impeccable image quality, the drones offer interesting and powerful technology and features, including hands-free, autonomous photo and video capture.

Skydio is hosting an event next month about its AI technology. “Drones that think. And a company that cares,” writes Skydio on its website.

“[This] is a complete slap in the face to anybody who has ever bought one of their products. This is a company who prides itself on politics first, innovation second, and its customers last. That’s Skydio,” says Dono of Skydio’s decision to exit the consumer business.

Skydio is not even the first American drone company to bow out of consumer-facing sales when confronted with the behemoth that is DJI. 3D Robotics, or 3DR, did the same in 2016 before fading into obscurity.

Disappointment aside, Skydio’s shift toward public sector and enterprise companies is not all that surprising. Police and emergency departments across the United States are buying drones in droves. Skydio even managed to make the very short list of approved drone manufacturers in Florida, where the state is cracking down on public agencies using Chinese-made drones, including DJI.

Image credits: Skydio